Girl with cystic fibrosis gets surprise Bieber tickets

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by Jeff Goldblatt / KENS 5

khou.com

Posted on January 11, 2013 at 6:26 AM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 26 at 12:04 AM

SAN ANTONIO -- Life has dealt a lousy hand to Angelina Flack. Her entire life, she's fought the scourge of a genetic disease she calls "CF." She abbreviates the illness, because she can't -- at the age of 10 -- pronounce Cystic Fibrosis.

"It doesn't feel good, because you can't do as much as other kids can do," said the frail little girl, her speech somewhat altered by the oxygen intake tube in her nose.

A decade of fighting CF has ravaged her lungs. She takes at least 16 different medicines a day and requires around-the-clock oxygen to help her breathe -- two liters of it every minute.

"Angelina's case is very rare. She's deteriorated faster than most Cystic Fibrosis patients," said Camille Haddad, the girl's day nurse since September.

In her short life, Angelina has never gone more than six months without an emergency hospital visit. But the next is the most critical.

For the next three weeks, she'll be evaluated by a team of physicians at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston for a life-saving double lung transplant.

Haddad says Angelina has been pre-cleared for the surgery. But if she's not well enough in early February, she'll be sent home.

Dying, she concedes, does scare her.

"It does. But if it does happen, they'll be waiting for me (in heaven), and I'll be waiting for them."

Angelina's family stresses that the risks are worth taking.

"You'd do anything for your kids. If I could trade, I would do it in an instant," said her mother, Rose Arevalo.

"The last thing I want to happen is if something were to happen to her and I felt guilty (that) I didn't do enough," said her father, Ed Arevalo. "I can't change it. But I can do more."

With just a few days until she leaves for Houston, Angelina's bedroom shows no sign that she's about to depart for a long stretch.

Her neatly made bed and her stuffed animal collection incidate she plans to return. And she'll gladly tell you about all of the Justin Bieber items on every dresser and every wall.

"I like his songs and he's a really nice guy. He cares about people," she said. "It would be the best moment of my life," she said, if she were able to get the chance to see Bieber, her idol, in concert.

Angelina thought we came to see her just to tell you about her brave fight. Then we surprised her with four tickets to see Saturday night's sold-out show in San Antonio.

"Yeah," she exclaimed, as a wide smile covered her face, her hands clapping with joy.

Angelina grabbed the tickets and clutched them with her frail hands. She's never seen Justin Bieber in concert before.

"I get a chance to be happy before I go. And I won't have to worry as much and not be as nervous."

Her strength was lifted by her excitement about the concert. It's called, coincidentally, the "Believe Tour."

"I'm really hoping for the best in Houston, and I can get better."
 

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